Podcasts from: Unsealed, The Letters of Bess of Hardwick

Dukes and spies; queens and servants; friends and lovers - all of the Elizabethan world populates the letters of Bess of Hardwick. Bess herself wrote hundreds of letters throughout her life: they were her lifeline to her travelling children and husbands, to the court at London, and to news from the world at large.

The exhibition Unsealed: The Letters of Bess of Hardwick, previously shown at National Trust Property Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire (April 2011-November 2012) and The National Archives, Kew (November 2012-February 2013), lets Bess and her correspondents tell their stories in their own words. 

The Podcasts

Click on a link to hear a podcast.

  1. The Many Faces of Bess of Hardwick (5:32)
  2. Who's Who in Bess's Address Book (6:33)
  3. Details on Lifestyle (3:55)
  4. Stories from Bess's Bedchamber (6:42)
  5. A Peek into Bess's Parcels (5:13)
  6. Unsealed: A Look Behind the Scenes (11:53)


  • Frances Cobham played by Catherine Emmott
  • Frances Pierrepont played by Sophie Holmes
  • Elizabeth Wingfield played by Carole Hough
  • Bess of Hardwick played by Kathryn Lowe
  • Arbella Stuart played by Imogen Marcus
  • James Montague played by Andrew Prescott
  • Queen Elizabeth I played by Bryony Randall
  • George, 6th earl of Shrewsbury played by David Simmons
  • Mary, queen of Scots played by Jennifer Smith
  • Richard Topcliffe played by Jeremy Smith
  • Narrator played by Anke Timmermann
  • Henry Cavendish played by Thomas White

All podcasts were written and produced by Anke Timmermann.

Supported by The University of Glasgow and The National Trust.
Funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council.

You can also download a bookmark and postcard about the exhibition.

Unsealed exhibition postcard Unsealed exhibition bookmark

Developed by

Developed by The University of Glasgow

Technical Development

Technical development by The Digital Humanities Institute

Funded by

Funded by the AHRC

'Bess of Hardwick's Letters' was developed by The University of Glasgow with technical development provided by The Digital Humanities Institute at The University of Sheffield
Version 1.0 | ISBN 978-0-9571022-3-1
© 2013 The University of Glasgow
Contact Us | Copyright and Citation Guide